22nd of March 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Two of Europe's greatest footballing nations clash on Friday evening as the Netherlands host England at Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. The Dutch have failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, so their purpose is to rebuild, while England are eager to prepare for the final tournament. The two teams have last met in a friendly match in 2016, it was played at Wembley Stadium in London and the Netherlands won it 2-1 with goals from Vincent Janssen and Luciano Narsingh after Jamie Vardy had opened the scoring for England.
The Dutch had another disappointment to face last autumn as they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, they finished third behind France and Sweden in their group after having won just six of their ten qualifying matches. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder have both retired from the national team after the failed campaign and former Everton manager Ronald Koeman has been appointed as head coach. Justin Kluivert, the son of famous striker Patrick Kluivert, is in the squad and could make his debut for the national team.
England didn't have a trouble-free qualification campaign but they managed to finish undefeated at the top of their group, with just three goals conceded in ten games but also with just 18 goals scored, not exactly what would be expected from a big team. In November England played two friendlies against big teams, Germany and Brazil, and managed to get goalless draws on both occasions. Striker Harry Kane is injured and won't be available for this match, so Jamie Vardy or Marcus Rashford will lead the line in his absence.
Netherlands: Cillessen - Tete, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake - Strootman, De Roon, Wijnaldum - Berghuis, Dost, Depay
England: Butland - Stones, Dier, Maguire - Walker, Henderson, Lallana, Young - Sterling, Vardy, Alli
My prediction: England to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Netherlands win - 2.50
Draw - 3.25
England win - 3.20
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When it comes to friendly games those two are usual opponents playing each other almost every year as far as I remember.
Right now Dutch side is far away from his best times so I dn't expect England would loose that one, they should be considered favourites I think.
It would be a good opportunity for Southgate to try some different schemes up front in the Kane's absence because some of the rest might impress and you never know who would be available in a certain
moment of the World Cup.
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